Friday, April 17, 2009

New Navigation Device - Garmin

The idea of getting a GPS device struck into my mind when I was playing with the bluetooth GPS module with a ruggedized PDA. Thanks to Microsoft, both Garmin Mobile XT and MapKing did not perform that well in PDA.

Due to the user-friendliness of Nuvi software, I fell in love with the Nuvi range for car navigation. I was in dilemma to get either Nuvi 205 or Nuvi 255W.

After some homework, I invested for 255W (RM999.00) over 205 due to...
- bigger screen
- additional qwerty keyboard
- eco-route function supported
- lane assist / junction view capable
- free promotional items (Garmin AC charger + Garmin soft case)
- text-to-speach capable

Online store link:

In my opinion, the additional RM300.00 was worth it as the free gifts were already costing RM199.00

The MalSingMap that comes with it was quite updated but still, I prefer MFM(MalFreeMap) because most of the places are packed with POIs. After few minutes in the morning, the MFM map was up and I did tested it during lunch time. Everything goes well with the coordinates and text-to-speech function.

I have yet to test out the junction view,... maybe tonight... on the way back to hometown. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Laguna Redang 12th - 14th April 2009

After working like an old tired dog in a project, I took few days of annual leave to Redang. I brought along my wife and parents.

I have chosen Laguna Redang again due to the fact that my wife and parents really like the quality service versus the amount paid per person. I don't think other resort will provide such service quality as compared Laguna.

The fullboard package price is RM458.00 per pax at the time I booked. I can consider the package as reasonably cheap as the month of April falls under peak period for islands in east coast of Malaysia.

We started our journey @ 0345 hours and reached Kuala Terengganu around 1005hrs. We managed to find the Shah Bandar Jetty (located opposite the Post Office) through GPS.

We checked in via a booth at Laguna and waited at the departure hall while the Laguna boys loaded the bags to the ferry.

Approximately after an hour ride, I spotted dark clouds hovering on the east horizon. I managed to capture a cyclone building up nearby. It was quite near to our destination when the ferry had to stop and rescued two fishermen drifted apart at the sea. Weather was calm when they were rescued. Their boat sank nearby the rescue point. Thank god, we found them!

The ferry continued the journey and we arrived around ten past two. Upon arrival at the jetty, we were ushered to board the mini train powered by a tractor. We were also briefed by the PR officer about the 3D2N itinerary.

Welcome drinks were being served when we arrived at the resort. After registration, we went for the buffet lunch without checking in into the room. Meals are awesome with varieties of asian and western dishes. I could rate the resort as 5-star for their excellent service and comfortable accomodation.

Later in the afternoon, we rested for a while in the room before swimming in the crystal clear blue water. Beach is superb with super fine sands. I just hope all the resorts at Redang will preserve the environment by not polluting it.

The "Tequila band" entertained us throughout the night with nice music and songs. The Filipino band was so funny. Beers helped to relax me further... hehe.

The next day, we had to wake up early for breakfast before heading to the marine park for snorkeling. The most saddening at the Park was the snorkelers are more than the fish! I hate that!

We returned back to resort by noon and had lunch as usual. Food was good and no complain from any of us. My parents, my wife and I left the room for swimming at four pm when the sun was so bright. That added extra lighting effects to the beach;... so blue and phenomenal! I love it.

We spent the last night at the same al-fresco drinking place called "Tupai Bar". The same band entertained all the patrons by their singing and dancing. Very skillful.

We left the island the next morning after breakfast. Check-out was at 11.00am and ferry ride was at 1215noon. We arrived Kuala Terengganu safely near 2pm.
It was a nice and short holiday. To those of you who would like to bring your parents for an island trip, this could be the most appropriate resort! Try it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Test Drive: Neo CPS (Auto) 03Apr2009

It was on Friday morning in office when the Neo CPS came into my mind. After browsing for the paul-tan's site during short breaks, I finally decided to call up the Mutiara Damansara sales personnel to arrange my very first test drive. Sounds a bit 'jakun', right?

Saiful(the proton sales guy) told me that it was possible to do it during lunch time. I brought my colleague who is also the 'car kaki' to showroom after a speedy lunch.

Once I stepped into the showroom, Saiful was preparing the keys and the temporary plates. He then fixed it to the White Satria Neo CPS(auto - dead boring) at the front and back before warming up the engine. I didnt care much about the transmission as my main purpose is to test out the handling and braking. Paul Tan's website boasted about the further tuning of CPS in terms of handling compared to previous lower models.

Lotus DNA technology remained the same but this CPS is now well equipped with additional chassis strengthening and some other bars to enable the 'pleasure of driving' feeling.

My main aim is to feel the difference when doing some reckless cornering at slightly high speed.

Donald just sat behind when he drove us out. One the way out from the showroom, we switched and I became the driver. Checked all mirrors and adjusted seat and seatbelts, I accelerated the white hatch out of the building.

I can't expect much about driving auto (like handicapped person driving). Dead,...dead boring without the chance of playing with the 5-speed manual transmission. Saiful gave me all the directions for highways and abandoned housing area routes to try out different situations.

Cornering and U-turning at highway is superb, the car responded well to my steering and it did perform up to my expectations. Smooth cornering without any screeching sound as compared to my older Satria (Mistubishi Colt) with smaller wheels, hehe. I love the feeeeeling!

Just before the ending of the test drive, Saiful asked me to try out the sharp cornerings at the abandoned housing area near Mutiara Damansara. I rev-hard to build more momentum and speed before approaching those corners. Guess what...? Donald could feel that he was almost thrown out of the car but the whole car just maneuver silently with very minimal roll.

If you happen to read this, I would suggest you to try out if you are into car handling kind-of person. You will get the continental-setup driving experience and no longer the usual japanese machine thingy like my older Satria.

Right now, it is so tempting to book one. Only when my parents and wife agree to it. :P

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